Top 10 Small Towns of USA's Capital Region

Big cities and monuments may get more attention, but small towns are the heart and soul of the Capital Region.

downtown, Lexington, Virginia
Lexington, Virginia
Urbanna Seafood & Raw Bar in Virginia
Urbanna, Virginia is known for its annual oyster shucking competition and festival
Westminster, Maryland, downtown
Westminster, Maryland
Teackle Mansion in Princess Anne, Maryland
downtown, Lexington, Virginia
Urbanna Seafood & Raw Bar in Virginia
Westminster, Maryland, downtown

Travel beyond Washington, DC, into neighbouring Maryland and Virginia, where you'll find some of the best small towns in America brimming with down-home hospitality, heritage events, locally owned shops and distinctive attractions.



Watch the oyster-shucking competition at the annual Urbanna Oyster Festival in November, and peruse the port town’s charming collection of boutiques, antique shops and art galleries. 


American explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark visited Fincastle before embarking on the first expedition to survey the western US. Take a self-guided walking tour of the petite hamlet, viewing homes and buildings dating back to the late 1700s and early to mid-1800s. 


Tour the quaint 1800s-era home of American Civil War General Stonewall Jackson, and grab dinner at The Red Hen, featuring dishes made with ingredients from local farms.


Plan your trip around an event like the Fourth of July Celebration or Summer Saturday Concert Series. Musical shows at the Wohlfahrt Haus Dinner Theatre are also a crowd-pleasing delight. 


The gateway to hiking, biking and camping adventures in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Damascus hosts Appalachian Trail Days in May, which draws more than 20,000 hiking enthusiasts.




Order an old-fashioned ice-cream float at Baugher’s Restaurant & Fruit Market or try the Italian chicken salad hoagie at Giulianova Groceria — just two of the many tasty dining options on Main Street.


Once a bustling port and steamboat landing in the early 1900s, Leonardtown Wharf Park now boasts a lovely promenade along the waterfront. Rent a kayak or canoe to explore the surrounding marshes. 

La Plata

Catch a play by the Port Tobacco Players, who have brought beloved productions like “Hairspray” and “A Christmas Carol” to the local stage for more than 70 years. Free special events are also held throughout the year at the town hall.

Clear Spring

Sip award-winning wines at Knob Hall Winery’s tasting room housed in a 200-year old barn, and check out the more than 100 jars of retro candy at the restored 1840s Wilson General Store. 

Princess Anne

Constructed in the early 1800s and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the elaborately furnished Teackle Mansion offers a peek into the lives of the area’s wealthiest 19th-century residents.

For more on areas outside Washington, DC, visit our Maryland and Virginia pages.

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